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Press Release

Marrero Woman Sentenced to One Year Imprisonment for Healthcare Fraud

For Immediate Release
U.S. Attorney's Office, Eastern District of Louisiana

Acting U.S. Attorney Duane A. Evans announced that MONICA SYLVEST, age 52, of Marrero, was sentenced today after previously pleading guilty to health care fraud.


U.S. District Judge Susie Morgan sentenced SYLVEST to serve one year and one day imprisonment, restitution in the amount of $536,724, and three years of supervised release. 


According court documents, from August 2014 through September 2016, SYLVEST worked as a Practice Administrator for a local pediatric clinic. During her employment, SYLVEST embezzled and diverted to her personal use approximately $536,724 in medical reimbursements from the Medicaid program in connection with the delivery of and payment for health care benefits, items, and services paid to the clinic.  As the Practice Administrator, SYLVEST utilized a business credit card issued by American Express and made over $536,000 in unauthorized charges to purchase several luxury items including a Harley Davidson motorcycle, custom diamond jewelry, and collectible artwork.  SYLVEST then accessed her employer’s bank account containing the Medicaid reimbursements to make transfers and payments to cover the illegal purchases.  SYLVEST disguised the payments made to American Express as “biologicals” or “vaccinations” in order to make it appear that the expenses were related to the normal operations of the clinic.    


Acting U.S. Attorney Evans praised the work of the Federal Bureau of Investigation and the Office of Inspector General for the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services in investigating this matter.  The prosecution of this case is being handled by Fraud Section Chief, Assistant U.S. Attorney Brian M. Klebba.

Updated October 16, 2017

Health Care Fraud